She Doesn’t Want to Marry Me

Dear T,

I’ve been with my girlfriend for five years now, and she says she is still not ready for marriage yet.  I’m actually bothered by that.  How can you date a person for 5 years, and yet still not know if you want to marry them?  I want to tell her, she either get ready for that next step, or I’ll have to move on.  But I don’t really want us to break up.  I just want her to commit.  She doesn’t understand why us living together isn’t enough right now.  Also, she’s afraid of telling her mom she’s in love with a woman.  What should I do here?


Put A Ring On It.

Dear Put A Ring On It,

Thanks for writing to me.  Let me start be saying, I love a good Beyoncé reference, so I appreciate you for that homage to “Single Ladies.”  LOL!  Now in terms of your dilemma here, I find two things interesting about your quest for marriage.

First off, what is your real end goal here?  Is it to be married, or is it to be with your current girlfriend?  I ask that because unfortunately the road to each may not be going in the same direction.  And say they aren’t going in the same direction, you can’t force and manipulate the situation.  Doing that will only backfire in the long run.  So you want to figure out here, which is more important if you can’t have both?  The “I do” or the boo?

Now thankfully, you stated your girlfriend claimed not to be ready for marriage yet. That response indicates to me that she could just be fearful of the concept of forever.  She may not feel financially or mentally prepared to commit to a legally binding situation.  If she is anything like me, she wants to have all her ducks in a row before taking such a plunge.  Ducks include a stable income, a handle on student loans, a certainty that this person is the one, a firm knowledge that the other person is in agreement when it comes to where to live and how to raise children (if it comes to that), as well as several other factors.  Marriage requires a lot of work, and she may want to ease into it thoughtfully and with as few headaches as possible.

Second, I don’t think you would want your girlfriend to agree to any nuptials if she hasn’t even told her mother she loves a woman.  Your girlfriend really should talk to her mom about her sexuality and her relationship with you.  By the way, I’m slightly confused how her mom is in the dark about you and your girlfriend since you two are living together.  I’m assuming her mom knows you as a friend and roommate, and nothing more.  So a proper and formal reintroduction is probably in order.  After the reintroduction, you may find her mom’s attitude toward you may change.  And should that happen, you may realize you aren’t ready to be married to her. You could decide to wait on that until you have a functional relationship with her family.  Marriage is hard enough without having in-laws that don’t care for you.

Suggestions going forward.

  1. Really listen to your girlfriend when she tells you she isn’t ready for marriage yet. Hear her concerns, and talk with her through them.  But don’t pressure her into anything.  Also, explain why you want to be married, and just living together is starting to become not enough.
  1. Talk to your bae about coming clean with her mom. Again don’t pressure her, but explain the joys of liberation.  And describe how important it is to have an honest relationship with her parents.
  1. Typically, ultimatums never pan out like you want them to. So don’t rush to declare them.

As always nothing but love,


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